This article originally appeared on ABACUS
It would be natural to think that PUBG Mobile publisher Tencent Games is really in step with Indian culture, but a recent slip-up has angered a number of players in the country. The Chinese gaming company recently made a rudimentary mistake when it created an in-game item resembling the Kaaba, Islam’s most important shrine
The item was part of a birthday crate PUBG Mobile introduced last week in celebration of the game’s one-year anniversary. The in-game gift basket ended up infuriating countless Muslim players
, complicating the game’s popularity in India where about 15 percent
of the population is Muslim.
After hundreds of angry posts, PUBG Mobile developers quickly took action, redesigning the birthday crate within a day. The company also tweeted an apology online
Whether or not Tencent dodged this bullet, the company’s actions make clear it doesn’t want that kind of heat while India is already targeting PUBG Mobile as a threat to children’s health.
What’s more, a major Hindi newspaper recently declared PUBG an “epidemic” that turned children into psychopaths
. “There are dangerous consequences to this game,” according to the Navbharat Times piece published March 20. “Many children have lost their mental balance.”
Reports of PUBG Mobile now testing a limit that locks players out after six hours could be a response to the continued threat of bans.
Acknowledging concerns about the game, the developer of the original PUBG, South Korea’s Bluehole, recently released a statement
saying the company seeks “to be a responsible member of the gaming ecosystem.” It added, “To this end, we constantly work and shall continue to work with different stakeholders, including parents, educators and government bodies, and listening to their feedback on what we can do to enhance the overall PUBG Mobile experience.”
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